Marriott’s peak and off-peak award pricing went live over the weekend. Normally, if you wanted to redeem points for a Marriott Bonvoy hotel, the amount you pay would be based on the category of hotel (ranging from 1 to 8, with 8 requiring the most points). However, Marriott has now introduced peak and off-peak pricing, which means that the cost will depend not just on the category of hotel – there are also different prices if you are travelling during a peak, standard, or off-peak period. In many ways, this seems fair; plus, it allows you to enjoy some seriously good deals if you travel during the off-peak period.
Here is some essential information you should know about Marriott’s new award pricing.
The fine print of Marriott’s peak and off-peak award pricing
It’s important to be aware of the fine print included in Marriott’s new award chart. First of all, it states that the point values listed are based on a standard room and can change depending on the length of your stay. Secondly, point values can be higher for select locations. Thirdly (and this is certainly good news), blackout dates do not apply, although there are some caveats to this. Some Marriott Bonvoy properties may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption. Also, a few properties are excluded from No Blackout Dates, including Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club, and Vistana Signature Experiences resorts.
Marriott’s new award pricing is dynamic
There are no fixed dates for peak and off-peak pricing. This means that, while off-peak months for hotels will generally be cheaper than peak months, the pricing for a particular date can change, month-by-month. Marriott also highlights that the pricing can vary depending on the day of the week, with award rates updated every month to reflect market conditions.
These changing prices will be based on factors such as how full a hotel is likely to be. For instance, if you book your hotel stay months in advance, this may be at standard pricing. But closer to your arrival date, if the hotel notices it is reaching full occupancy, then pricing could be at the peak level. This dynamic pricing system is similar to the kind of strategy that many airlines use.
This pricing system may prove beneficial, as it can help you score some great deals – yet it also makes it impossible to know if you’re getting the best deal possible.
Do a flexible date search to find peak and off-peak pricing
You can easily see whether pricing is peak, standard, or off-peak by doing a flexible date search for a property you want to stay at, using points to book. For example, at the Marriott Marquis in New York, the off-peak price currently for a 1-night stay in October is 40,000 points, standard price is 50,000, and peak price is 60,000.
If you have any existing bookings, keep in mind that Marriott’s new award pricing system will apply if you change or modify a booking after 14th September (which is when this system came into effect). Also, bookings made before this date will be kept at the standard redemption rates.
The lack of transparency involved in Marriott’s peak and off-peak award pricing may not sit well with some customers. After all, we would all like a degree of certainty when planning our holidays. Having said that, there are definitely some rewards to reap from this new award pricing system. As a case in point, The Langley is now available for an incredible 30,000 points off-peak. You can find similar deals like this by doing a flexible search for other luxury hotels.